USDA Says Walking Horse Groups Fail to List Soring Violations

The USDA said some horse industry organizations failed to find any soring violations when federal inspectors were not present at Tennessee Walking Horse shows and events.
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Soring
The HPA forbids soring, the deliberate injury to a horse's feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated gait. | Photo: Courtesy USDA

Some horse industry organizations (HIOs), which inspect horses presented for padded classes at Tennessee Walking Horse shows, failed to find any Horse Protection Act (HPA) violations when federal inspectors were not present at the events, according to a letter sent to HIO managers by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The HPA forbids soring, the deliberate injury to a horse’s feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated gait. Designated qualified persons (DQPs), licensed by the USDA and certified HIOs, or APHIS personnel, if present, inspect horses presented for competition at Tennessee Walking Horse shows for HPA violations.

In a May 10 letter sent to HIO managers, trainers, owners, and exhibitors, Bernadette Juarez, deputy APHIS administrator, wrote that from October 2017 to March 2018, the “vast majority” of HIOs that inspect padded horses did not detect any HPA noncompliance when the USDA was not present at a show. The lone exception was S.H.O.W. Inc

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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